Seminary professor Haddon Robinson has spoken about the dreams that he entertained as a young Christian. As I remember the story, at one time, he thought that he would become a missionary. By the time he was 30, he would convert Asia to Christ. Then, he would move on to Africa where he would die as a martyr. At the place of his death, people would build a statue honoring the memory of Saint Haddon.
Of course, Dr. Robinson tells the story with his tongue firmly implanted in his cheek, but I understand the sentiment behind the story. I'm inspired by the great heroes of the faith. I want to be like them. I want to make a difference for Christ in this world, too.
But at the end of my life, what if my impact on the world is minimal? What if I have been only a faithful husband and father? What if I have been only a good friend? What if I have lived to see relatively few people come to Jesus because I have shared the message with them or have encouraged them to follow him? What if my acts of kindness and faithfulness go largely unnoticed? Have I wasted my life?
No. I am responsible for investing my life in bringing glory to God as I live by faith in Christ. I am responsible for taking risks to further the kingdom of God. My impact on the world may be more or less than others who follow Jesus; but by making the investment and taking the risks, I can still hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master" (Matthew 25:23).